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How to Start and Manage a Micro Dairy, Step 8: Experience and Goals

| 6/20/2013 2:25:00 PM

Jersey cowIf you read one thing that I write for Mother Earth News, make it this blog.  Here’s why: It is very common for people to underestimate the preparation required to get into small-scale dairy farming. I have met many non-farmers who think that operating a Micro Dairy must be a simple proposition; after all, farmers do it. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Operating a dairy farm is unlike anything else that most people will ever do, and I have seen many people with no farming experience buy dairy farms thinking that they can convert their business and/or corporate success into success on the farm. Some even go into it thinking that they can teach experienced dairy farmers how to operate their farms more efficiently or profitably. Unfortunately new dairy farmers with that attitude rarely survive more than a couple of years.  

You see, Micro Dairies may seem “simple,” but they are actually complex businesses to manage. If you are getting into dairy farming with no previous agricultural experience, be humble. Enter the field as you would a large library - quietly, full of humility and with a desire to learn. On that note, here are my top tips for making sure that your experience and goals are in line with running a successful Micro Dairy:

• Make sure that you enjoy physical work and handling dairy animals.

• Get to know your neighboring farmers and don't hesitate to ask them for advice or help. They will be your best resource and, quite possibly, your savior at some point down the road. Talk to the farmers about the pros and cons of their operations and facilities. You will never learn what you need to know by surfing the Internet unless you back up your research with farm visits and discussions with farmers who are actually doing what you plan to do.

• When it comes time to plan your farm, research what you will need for buildings and equipment by visiting as many farms as you can.

• Create a budget and stick to it. It is not a matter of spending your money wisely; it's a matter of learning how to solve problems by not spending money.

9/27/2013 4:06:29 AM

hi, as you have mentioned i am not the one who has the basic experience in the field of dairy farming. but still i would like to start the dairy farm with 20/25 animals in india. please if you can tell me what are the further necessary precaution i should take on the same.

6/21/2013 10:26:05 AM

Great advice!!

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